Why did Mississippi State dismiss Joe Moorhead? AD John Cohen points to 'series of events' during coach's tenure
Joe Moorhead’s tenure at Mississippi State lasted only two seasons and while those inside the state saw it coming, many observers around the Southeastern Conference and across the nation are wondering why the Bulldogs would remove a coach with an overall winning record and two Egg Bowl wins.
So what was it exactly that caused the school’s leadership to cut bait so quickly on Coach Moorhead?
During his Friday press conference, Mississippi State AD John Cohen continually mentioned a “series of events” when asked why Moorhead is now out in Starkville. Keep in mind, just over a month ago, Cohen issued his support for Moorhead and committed to a contract extension for the coach.
While Cohen would not address whether that extension had been signed by Moorhead, he noted he made that statement due to the momentum the program had heading into bowl season. The Bulldogs closed the season by winning three of their final four games and were closing in one a top 25 recruiting class.
Now just a few weeks later, the program is looking for a new leader.
“Again, I will say that I felt like at the time we built some momentum and I was so excited about that momentum continuing forward for the next 30 days to bowl prep,” Cohen said. “To me again, we’re evaluating that whole time and again some incidents came up that kind of altered our course in this process.”
Did Moorhead lose the team in terms of discipline and accountablity?
“Well, certainly, I’m not going to dig in deep into that, but there was a series of events, we had to evaluate and we had to make the right decision for Mississippi State University,” Cohen said on Friday.
When was the decision to fire Joe Moorhead made?
“Well, it’s a never-ending evaluation process,” Cohen responded. “I can’t – I’m not going to pinpoint an exact moment, but certainly, I had many discussions with our President, Dr. Mark Keenum, during the course of the week. And actually you know we’re having conversations all the time before this week, so I’m not sure there’s an isolated moment. Again, it’s a series of events over time.”
Was it just one thing that led to Moorhead’s firing?
“I’m not trying to be repetitive but it’s, again it’s a series of events. I think rarely is there one isolated event that causes a change,” he said. “I think, I know this was a series of events that happened, and we were I think we do a pretty good job of monitoring every aspect of the program. And again, we felt it was the right thing to do.”